Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sub Questions of the Week: 28 JAN 2016


When a vessel's center of mass rises much above its center of bouyancy the ship is prone to "keel over" or capsize and may even sink (founder).  Photo of a recently distressed surface vessel:

Sub Questions of the Week

1  -  Why are modern, military-quality submarines not prone to capsizing?

2  -  Is it even possible for modern, militray-quality subs to capsize?

the following questions relate to above photo  
3  -  If the vessel shown has not washed up upon a beach, approximately where is it?

4  -  Has the crew been rescued?

5  -  From where did it sail, and to where was it sailing?

6 -  How large (tonnage) is the vessel, and with what cargos is it said to be laden?

7 -  Where is the pilot house located?

8 -  Has this vessel sunk or has it been towed?

ANSWERS:  Monday, 1 FEB 2016

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Submarine Quote of January 2016


UPDATE 27 JAN 2016: "Replacing the ageing Vanguard-class submarine fleet - the only underwater vessels capable of carrying nuclear warheads - is expected to cost £31billion over 30 years -"  MAL-JOURNALISM source  (nuclear tipped torpedoes obviously carry nuclear warheads, too).

Why Journalists Get so much Wrong - The Problem and the Fix (2011

Professional journalists* (paid writers) rarely consider much less comply with M.E.'s obvious best practices of reporting:
1) Either possess expertise in matters upon which you, the journalist, report facts to readers, or disclose your inexpertise.
2) Report contrary assessments by dissenting experts when topics are controversial.
3) Never write an opinion piece without related education and experience that sets you apart from uneducated, inexperienced readers. 

Submarine Mal-Journalism (2008

Submarine Quote of the Month

[color emphasis added]
With Israel’s flag flapping over the country’s newest piece of military hardware, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu descended very carefully into the nuclear submarine INS Rahav at its inaugural ceremony this month in Haifa.

.....The Jewish state has for years also been modernizing and expanding its fleet of nuclear submarines, which are seen mainly as a deterrent to a long-range Iranian missile strike on Israel, but are also capable of directing firepower at militants around the Mediterranean basin. - "Facing threats and opportunity, Israel forges Mediterranean alliance" - by Joshua Mitnick,  The Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 25, 2016.


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Friday, January 22, 2016

"Operational Attorneys": How to Impede and Degrade U.S. Sub Force Preeminence

U.S. Submarine Force Vision 

Then 1998 Navy

"The U.S. Submarine Force will remain the world’s preeminent Submarine Force. We will aggressively incorporate new and innovative technologies to maintain dominance throughout the maritime battlespace. We will promote the multiple capabilities of submarines and develop tactics to support national objectives through battlespace preparation, sea control, supporting the land battle, and strategic deterrence. We will fill the role of the Joint Commander’s stealthy, full spectrum expeditionary platform." - Malcolm Fages Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy Undersea Warfare Fall 1998 Vol. 1, No. 1 

2015 JAG (Navy Lawyer)

"Military commanders and their operational attorneys must be cognizant of the myriad environmental laws, treaties, associated regulations, international agreements and policies that apply to military activities and operations within and outside the United States. Deciphering applicable environmental considerations can quickly become complicated and is dependent on numerous factors to include the nature of the operation, where it takes place, and the associated host nation’s relevant environmental laws and regulations. Irrespective of the environmental legal drivers, respecting host nation and global environmental norms are often inextricably linked to larger strategy and mission goals. Indeed, the failure to comply with non-prescriptive environmental standards and norms abroad can generate worldwide criticism that ultimately undermines the strategic goals of the larger military operation and can negatively the health and safety of servicemembers."  -  - Mark P. Nevitt, Commander, United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Environmental Law in Military Operations (September 24, 2015)

2016 Law Professor (Naval War College Lawyer) 

 .... While submarine espionage does not appear to be inconsistent with the law of the sea, espionage in the territorial sea is injurious to the sovereignty of the coastal state. - James Kraska, Professor of International Law, U.S. Naval War College, LAWFARE, Submarines and the Law of Espionage, January 6, 2016.

Now 2002-2016 Navy 

"[T]he submarine force is “10 ships below what’s absolutely required to do the nation’s business in the 2020s. - Adm. William H. Hilarides, Naval Sea Systems Command,  SEAPOWER Magazine, January 14, 2016, NAVSEA Commander: Navy is 10 Subs Below its Needs

Full disclosure: Hilarides noted that he was a submarine program manager when the decision was made in 2002 to maintain a build rate less than what could sustain the size of the force. Sequestration would later become part of the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wednesday Whodunnit & Why

Background: Tuesday State of the Union Address

"Viewership for Obama's State of the Union addresses has been in decline since 2009, when he drew 52.4 million television viewers. Subsequently, 48.0 million watched on television in 2010, 42.8 million in 2011, 37.8 million in 2012, 33.5 million in 2013 and 33.3 million in 2014." -CNN 

An Administration Manufactured Event?

"Ten American sailors have been taken into custody in Iran," he said in a statement. "But President Obama completely omitted this latest example of Iran's provocative behavior so as not to interfere with his delusional talking points about his dangerous nuclear deal with Iran. - House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy 

News of this curiously unexplained capture (including 1 woman)  preceeded the East coast's dinner hour to generate interest just-in-time for Obama's final S.O.T.U.  a few hours later at 9 PM.

So despite a perfectly-timed, human interest story Obama's viewership still declined by almost 5%, attracting ONLY 31.7 million viewers (1.6 million fewer than in 2015).  


What would viewership have been without the sailor story?

Answer: Even more embarrassing for the administration.

Was the Iranian capture event manufactured with or without SECNAV Mabus's knowledge?

Answer: If a manufactured event, it could not have been without his implicit approval. 

Would such a manufactured event have to have been coordinated in advance with Iran?

Answer:  Certainly.

What inducement(s) could Iran have been offered to go along with the event? 

Answer:  Let's think; besides humiliating the U.S. navy, what does Iran wish that the U.S. can possibly hasten? Hints: (sanctions, 'peaceful' nuclear developments), and then there is PR (photographic one upmanship): 

Finally, would Secretary of State Kerry have been involved in coordinating such an event with Iran

Answer:  Draw your own conclusions. During his tour of duty as an Officer in Charge of Swift boats, Kerry led five-man crews on patrols into enemy-controlled areas.

Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN's Dana Bash that he expected the sailors to be released "very soon" but would not be more specific. He was speaking at the Capitol ahead of the start of Obama's speech.

A senior State Department official, though, told Fox News that there was “no apology from Kerry” to the Iranians.  

Submarines are always silent and strange.


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Monday, January 11, 2016

The Great Green Fleet


Nothing goes over better with U.S. enemies and allies alike during times of momentous fiscal constraints than impressing them as President Theodore Roosevelt had with his Great White Fleet.  The Great White Fleet circumnavigated the world.

President Roosevelt wanted to find out what condition the fleet would be in after such a transit. As he stated before the fleet's departure, "I want all failures, blunders and shortcomings to be made apparent in time of peace and not in time of war."

Could this be the very thoughtful goal of the farsighted Obama administration for its Great Green Fleet, before he departs office?  To make things really interesting shall we prepare this time around the globe to use just Green energy alone?  As we may have learned, not only does this administration never fail to note military blunders, it creates unnecessary reason to assure them (e.g. Women assigned to submarines and their declining retention in those 'boats').

Submarines are always silent and strange?


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Saturday, January 09, 2016

ANSWERS: Levity QOTW from 6 JAN 2016


Related information, photo(s) and links for questions are found in the original posting here
Each question below (with the missing blanks filled in) was the title of  ICELAND REVIEW ONLINE's  "MOST POPULAR" news stories highlighted on the front page, January 5, 2016:

Questions of the Week with ANSWERS

(Fill in the Blanks and Name the Country)
    ____(1)_____ Hikers Respond to Criticism   ANSBritish

   Charged for Flying People into ____(2)_____ Area. 

    Killing of Basques Now Banned in West ____(3)_____  
ANS West Fjords

     _____(4)_____ Couple Arrrested in Brazil 
    Body of Tourist Found on  _____(5)_____  ANSSnæfellsnes

Name the country  _____(6)_____   ANSIceland

Name its related news publication _____(7)_____  ANSICELAND REVIEW ON LINE

Submarines are always silent and strange.


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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Submariner Quote of the Week, Undisclosed SSGN Damage, QTOW

Submarine Quote of the Week (serious)

Recalling a conversation with one of the first female officers admitted to the force, who had a nasty encounter with a sailor ranking beneath her, Gallo said:
“He told her, ‘You’re a woman, I’m not listening to you. You can’t tell me what to do.’” - Amanda Gallo, RPI student (Navy Scholarship program), due to graduate in May and enter the Submarine Force in 2017.  


Undisclosed damage (silent and strange)

("This story is developing") The CO of Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Georgia (Blue) was relieved at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia, during an investigation into a Nov. 25 crash that caused approximately $1 million in damage, a Navy statement said. The Georgia was reportedly returning to port when it struck a channel buoy and ran aground. The investigation remains open. story

Molten Eagle:  Hull not compromised. Completed repairs following the "grounding" and is expected to re-enter the water this week, officials told IHS Jane's on 5 January. The undisclosed $1 million damage was repaired relatively fast attesting to this sub's valuable roles in national security. So, what damage could leave the hull intact but take about $1 million to repair?  (a) propeller(s), (b) sonar, (c) something more silent and strange -- a secret.

Questions of the Week (Levity)

Name the Country & Fill in the Blanks

Some readers may appreciate ironic levity implied by the titles of a serious news publication's Most Popular stories recently:
  • ____(1)_____ Hikers Respond to Criticism
  • Charged for Flying People into ____(2)_____ Area.

  • Killing of Basques Now Banned in West ____(3)_____

  •  _____(4)_____ Couple Arrrested in Brazil

  • Body of Tourist Found on  _____(5)_____
Name the country  _____(6)_____

Name its related news publication _____(7)_____


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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

First, There Was Ramming Speed (Part 2)


By 1210 BC, the first-recorded naval battle was fought between Suppiluliuma II, king of the Hittites, and Cyprus. Before crossbows and black powder had been invented by China, early navies had relied upon ramming to sink enemy vessels. Explosive ramming (with spar torpedo) was not used successfully until the H. L. Hunley sank the USS Housatonic as the first successful attack submarine in 1864.

A Rather Curious, Interim Naval Tactic

In 184 BC, over a millenium after the first-recorded naval battle, Hannibal of Carthage instructed his sailors to throw clay pots filled with venomous snakes onto the decks of  King Eumenes of Pergamon's ships.

The snake tactic was copied by the Greeks in famous fifth century BC and fourth century AD battles with a modification: snake venom was either removed from vipers beforehand or non venomous snakes were thrown onto enemy ships instead.  Apparently, venom removal and look-alikes rendered the dangerous tactic less effective in creating confusion, fear, and chaos aboard enemy vessels so the concept was eventually discontinued.  

As such naval combat refinements continued, Julius Caesar would hold the first simulated naval spectacle in Rome's Colosseum (46 BC).  Actual sailors from Roman naval headquarters at Misenum were used to work the Colosseum's giant sun shades (velaria).[30]  Otherwise, Caesar's spectacle featured gladiators as the combatants. Some 106 years later (52 AD)  Claudius produced more realistic entertainment in a real body of water (Lago Fucino).

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Saturday, January 02, 2016

ANSWERS: Submarine QOTW from 27 DEC 2015


Related information, photo(s) and links for questions are found in the original posting here.
The source of all answers provided below was "Undersea warfare: Surfacing now, navy's biggest batch of submariners", Jugal R Purohit, IndiaToday, Visakhapatnam, December 27, 2015.

Questions of the Week with ANSWERS

1 -  What is the current average age of India's sub fleet?  ANS: The average age of the Indian submarine 25 years.

2 -  Recent accidents - the explosion and sinking of INS Sindhurakshak in 2013, killed 18, and fire on INS Sindhuratna last year killed two officers. Unusually thorough accident reviews resulted in implementation of corrective procedures.  Is India's submarine force made up of volunteers? 
3 -  India's navy has a submarine school comprised of three schools, the first is a year-long basics school for officers and enlisted.  What are the other two schools? 
ANS: Escape training and the school of Advanced Undersea Warfare (for those assigned to nuclear-propelled submarines).
4 - According to one officer, what was the minimum passing grade (percentage correct answers) he needed to pass his first test (structure) in the basics school? 
ANS: 85%, according to one officer.
5 -  Do India's submarine enlisted and officers attend submarine school together?
6 - India's current fleet of operational submarines includes how many and of what classes?
ANS: India's Navy (INF) fleet of operational subs consists of 14 boats: 9 Russian-EKMs or Sindhughosh class, 4 German HDW Shishumar class and the nuclear-powered boat, INS Chakra, an Akula class sub loaned from Russia.

7 - In addition to its operational fleet, how many subs does India have in sea trials and awaiting procurement? 
ANS:  Winding up sea trials is the Arihant, an indigenous nuclear-powered boat.  And as currently planned, INS Kalvari should join the fleet in in September 2016 with 5 more of her French designed class coming at nine month intervals.  The INF also envisions construction of an additional 2 Arihants, 6 conventional diesel electrics, 6 nuclear powered subs, and lease of an 1 more Russian sub.   
8 - Besides earning an eventual dolphin badge, what unusual distinction separates India's submariners from every other branch of its military service? 
ANS: "[O]urs is the only military service where on duty no one wears a uniform, not even a rank and for a reason," quipped an officer.
9 - What is the stated purpose of the policy referred to in question 8? 
ANS: "Camaraderie is our hallmark and here sailors and officers train and earn their dolphins together. Anyone who volunteers is allowed a look-in period of a month in which he can walk away if he desires with no penalties imposed," said an officer.

Submarines are always silent and strange. 

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Friday, January 01, 2016

Final Submarine Quote for Year 2015


DoD News, Defense Media Activity

Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Phones ICBM Crews on New Year’s Eve 

[underlined emphasis added] WASHINGTON, January 1, 2016 — In the hours before the clock struck midnight last night, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was on the phone with two-person crews who were on alert in missile silos at the nation’s three intercontinental ballistic missile bases.

Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva made it a point to call and thank missile crew commanders and deputies at their posts some 70 feet underground in the missile fields surrounding F.E. Warren Air Force Base near Cheyenne, Wyoming; at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota; and Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana.

“I just want[ed] to say ‘Thank you’ to the crews,” the general told DoD News, because they'll be away from their families on New Year’s Eve.

The ICBM force is one of the legs of the triad that's on alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Selva said, noting that the only other part of the nuclear triad that has that distinction is the submarine ballistic missile force.

The FINAL Submarine Quote of 2015: 

“It's hard to make a phone call to a submarine [but],” he said, “I'd do it if I could.” - Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Dec. 29, 2015.

M.E. Note: All Submariners are away from their families and out of contact with them for much, much longer than "on New Year's Eve" right, General Selva?

Submarines are always silent and strange.


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